Otoniel: Colombia’s most wanted drug lord captured


Security forces in Colombia have captured Dairo Antonio Usuga, the country’s most wanted drug trafficker.
Better known as Otoniel, the leader of the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia or the Gulf Clan, was captured on Saturday in a rural area in the Uraba region.
President Ivan Duque hailed Otoniel’s capture as a victory, likening it to the arrest three decades ago of the notorious Colombian drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar.
“This is the biggest blow against drug trafficking in our country this century,” Duque said during a news conference. “This hit is only comparable to the fall of Pablo Escobar in the 1990s.”
The Colombian president said his government was working on extraditing Otoniel, most likely to the United States, where he was first indicted in 2009 in a Manhattan federal court on drug trafficking charges.
The 50 year old also faces criminal charges in Brooklyn and Miami in the US on charges of “operating continuing criminal enterprises, participating in international cocaine trafficking conspiracies and using firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes”.
Authorities have been after Otoniel for years, killing allies, capturing family members and going after his finances. Colombia had offered a reward of up to $800,000 for information leading to his capture, while the US had put a bounty of $5m on his head.
The US and the United Kingdom provided the intelligence in the operation to capture Otoniel, according to The Associated Press news agency, while more than 500 members of Colombia’s special forces and 22 helicopters were used in the jungle raid.


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